Bicycle Travel > Urban Cycling

Enhanced "Sharrows"

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They tried this in my city this year (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) for a few blocks on a popular main street. There has been resistance by merchants to give up parking spots for a bike lane on the narrow road despite a high incidence of doorings. The result has been interesting, it educates cyclists to take the lane, and it shows the drivers the reasons why cyclists have the right to do so (to avoid getting doored). The busy markings have definitely calmed the traffic, forcing drivers to slow down behind cyclists and pass only when the opposite lane is clear. Many cyclists also continue to take the lane farther down where the markings disappear. Any opinions?

marti jacobs:
I think this is very good progress for those who practice this sport. In San Diego we have routes for cyclists highly respected, even across the border in the area of Rosarito and Ensenada B.C. MX, drivers respect cyclists, its clear that here we do not have much traffic as in a larger city.

I'm in. but I bet it would irritate the heck out of drivers in Seattle. Of course, due to lack of vision and planning over about the last 50 years, Seattle drivers are always irritated because there are so many terrible traffic jams, at any time of day.  As a sometimes driver, it would irritate me too if you get oblivious cyclists that are real slow and make no effort to get out of the way.   Share the road works both ways. 

Pat Lamb:

--- Quote from: johnsondasw on March 23, 2016, 11:28:17 am ---As a sometimes driver, it would irritate me too if you get oblivious cyclists that are real slow and make no effort to get out of the way.   Share the road works both ways.
--- End quote ---

I'm puzzled by how you think "oblivious cyclists" are supposed "to get out of the way."  In the picture geegee posted, the only way to "get out of the way" is to get into the door lane (which can get the cyclist killed), or to get off the road.  If a cyclist is allowed to get off the rail-trails (as they are in most states of the union), neither option is a good one.  None of the places I normally ride to are adjacent to a bike path or trail.  Perhaps that's different in Seattle, but I doubt many destinations share those favored locations.

My opinion of the display started off as "what a waste of paint," but if it's only for a block or so scattered around the city, this might be a useful educational tool.  It might lead to useful, civil conversations on what a door zone is, and why the cyclist needs to be riding "in the middle of the road."  That's a much better outcome than the common blaring horn and "Get off the f#(k!n6 road!"

By the way, this mis-understanding of "share the road" is leading many of these signs to be replaced with BMUFL - Bicycles May Use Full Lane.

I get out of the way all the time.  I'll swerve into an empty parking place, carefully even enter the door zone, pull over and stop sometimes if I see I'm holding up a lot of cars.  Of course, unlike many cyclists, I use a mirror that I constantly monitor and therefore know when I'm holding things up. I really can't imagine biking in urban areas without a mirror.  It changes everything and tells you when you must take the lane, when you better not, when you're about to get right-hooked, etc, etc.  It allows you to actually control your destiny and safety to a much higher degree. 


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